JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In 2011, the Hughes rented a house in Fernandina Beach and now that house has a mold problem.
"It has been horrible," said Kristen Hughes.
Hughes said she noticed a leak a month after they moved in. Almost a year later, May 2012, Hughes said they discovered mold throughout a closet and the master bedroom.
The property manager repaired the damaged area, but Hughes said the mold problem is back, in the same bedroom.
"It is still leaking," she said, "the drywall that they fixed, the seam now has a bubble."
Hughes said her family now has respiratory problems and she believes it is related to the mold.
"My son has missed so many days in school," she said, "because of bad headaches."
After two years of leasing the three bedroom house, they are moving out.
"We're actually moving back to North Carolina," she said.
She said all during the experience she felt helpless.
"I called numerous health boards and they just said I don't know what to tell you,' said Hughes.
Her rent is $1495 a month and she's demanding the landlord give her a refund. She acknowledges that she enjoyed the use of the house but is convinced she is entitled to some kind of refund.
"At least from the time they knew the problems," said Hughes.
This week the Hughes received a 30-day notice their lease is being terminated.
The property manager gave notice that a crew will begin making repairs. Hughes is trying to keep them from entering the house; even though by law she has to let them in.
Property Manager David Longobardo said via email:
"They were recently notified of the claims by those tenants and trying to figure out how to act accordingly."
"Because this is pending they do not want to comment any further direct any more questions to his attorney."
Here is the bottom line mold in rental property is the responsibility of the property owner, however it could become the tenant's problem if the tenant created/contributed to the mold problem.
Under Florida's landlord tenant act if there's a problem with the rental the tenant must notify the landlord, it is called a 'seven day notice to cure.'
The tenant should send the landlord a letter, preferably certified, stating the problem and giving the landlord seven days to fix or state how he will respond.
The tenant can, in that same letter, notify the landlord of his options, such as termination of the lease.
First Coast News